– Ellen Allard, Canadian women’s wheelchair basketball
Game Plan works because it values the person as much as the athlete.
Game Plan, powered by Deloitte, is Canada’s total athlete wellness program that strives to support national team athletes to live better and more holistic lives. Through the development of their skills and network, athletes are able to focus on health, education, and career opportunities both during their high-performance career and beyond. The program helps to develop mentally stronger athletes who apply what they have learned as leaders in sport for the betterment of themselves and their communities.
Game Plan is a collaboration between the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), Sport Canada and Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network (COPSIN) to provide the best resources this country has to offer to our national team athletes – a team that has given so much and inspired so many.
All national team athletes will excel in and out of sport.
Game Plan was founded in response to the needs identified by athletes, coaches and sport system stakeholders in two key publications:
- The 2010 Olympic Games Debrief Report, in which recommendations were put forward addressing the role of life-sport balance and post-sport career planning to optimize sport performance.
- The 2011 Business Report, which examined the status of athlete career transition support in Canada relative to other world-leading programs.
Drawing from these findings, international best practices, extensive input from current and retired athletes, and identified gaps in the current service delivery, a series of recommendations were put forward to implement a world-class program addressing the unique transition needs of Canadian athletes.
To access individual Game Plan services, an athlete must meet the following eligibility criteria:
Sport Canada Carded or National Training Group Athlete in a Paralympic or Olympic discipline
Active athlete or retired in the last two (2) years
Note: Athletes who do not meet this criteria are encouraged to contact their Canadian Sport Institute for a list of alternate resources available provincially or regionally
BENEFITS TO ATHLETES
For most dedicated competitors, it can be challenging to manage sport and non-sport commitments. But when athletes wrap their entire identity around sport, it doesn’t just effect how they manage life transitions beyond the podium – it can also negatively impact their performance as an athlete.
Research suggests that athletes who engage in non-sport development, such as education or professional training (while actively training and competing), can actually achieve better results both in sport and in life. Instilling a focus on non-sport pursuits within an athlete’s training and competition schedule has been known to help maintain motivation, decrease the risk of burnout, reduce non-sport distractions, and allow athletes to prolong their athletic career.Here’s what elite athletes have cited as benefits of engaging in career development activities:
Reduced frustration and pressure resulting from exclusive focus on sport
Enhanced mental engagement to help overcome the physical challenges of training and performance, which helps to maintain an interest in and commitment to sport
Sense of security having a post-sport career plan, resulting in better athletic performance
Wellbeing and balance derived from recognizing that sport can be complemented by outside pursuits, yielding stronger overall athletic performance
At Deloitte Canada, 8,000 professionals help our clients solve their toughest problems. We set the standard as the most sought after professional services firm. We work in four key service areas – audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory – to find solutions for our clients’ most complex issues in a wide variety of industries. Our greatest strength, however, comes from combining our talented people from these service areas together to develop integrated and forward-thinking solutions to address our clients’ needs. We are Game Plan’s Presenting Partner, helping to develop and deliver a world-class program to support and enable national athletes to live better lives, both during and after their high performance careers.
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is Canada’s largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. It is one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, and provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. RBC employs approximately 79,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 38 other countries.
Morneau Shepell is a Canadian consulting and outsourcing company that takes an integrative approach to health, benefits, retirement, and employee assistance needs. A leader in its field, the company has a long history of improving the health, productivity, and financial security of its clients, leaving an impact on the success of organizations as a whole. Morneau has been engaged as Game Plan’s Official Mental Health Partner and will be providing immediate, confidential services to athletes on a 24/7 basis.
Smith School of Business
The Smith School of Business at Queen’s University is Canada’s premier business school and is consistently ranked among the best in the world. The School has been a pioneer in the areas of team-based and experiential learning and offers a suite of MBA and specialized Master’s programs in many locations across Canada. Smith is proud to be a Founding Partner of Game Plan. Over the next eight years, they will be providing 1200 scholarships, workshops and networking opportunities to assist Canadian athletes as they transition into their post-athletic careers.
Manifesto Sport Management
Manifesto is a leader in sport program creation, major event bid strategy and fund development, and Olympic and action sports athlete management. Fueled by a belief that sport is a powerful tool to create social change, generate economic impact for communities and reach consumers, the company now represents an accomplished group of Canadian sports personalities and Olympic champions. Manifesto has been engaged as Game Plan’s brand management delivery partner.
The Canadian Olympic Committee
The Canadian Olympic Committee leads the achievement of the Canadian Olympic Team’s podium success and advances Olympic values in Canada. Independent and predominantly privately funded, the Canadian Olympic Committee delivers resources that Canada’s elite athletes need to perform at their best and give their everything every day. The backbone of Canada’s Olympic movement, the Canadian Olympic Committee works with National Sport Federations to prepare the Team for the Olympic, Youth Olympic and Pan American Games. By sharing our athletes’ stories, we inspire all Canadians through the power of sport: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The Canadian Paralympic Committee
The Canadian Paralympic Committee is a non-profit, private organization with 25 member sports organizations dedicated to strengthening the Paralympic Movement. The Canadian Paralympic Committee’s vision is to be the world’s leading Paralympic nation. Its mission is to lead the development of a sustainable Paralympic sport system in Canada to enable athletes to reach the podium at the Paralympic Games. By supporting Canadian high performance athletes with a disability and promoting their success, the Canadian Paralympic Committee inspires all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its member organizations.
Sport Canada works to help Canadians participate and excel in sport. As part of the Department of Canadian Heritage, Sport Canada strengthens the unique contribution that sport makes to Canadian identity, culture and society. The Government of Canada is the single largest investor in Canada’s amateur sport system, providing funding through Sport Canada programs including the Hosting Program, the Sport Support Program (SSP) and the Athlete Assistance Program (AAP). Sport Canada works with many partners, including provincial and territorial governments, Multisport Service Organizations (MSOs), National Sport Organizations (NSOs), Canadian Sport Centres (CSCs) and other organizations.
The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network (COPSIN) provides world-leading training environments to elite athletes and coaches across Canada. The team of experts delivers sport science and medicine, coaching, research and innovation, education and Game Plan services to power podium performances and help Canada win more medals. The Network includes four Institutes (Quebec, Ontario, Calgary, Pacific) and three Centres (Atlantic, Manitoba, Saskatchewan).
What is Game Plan?
Game Plan, Canada’s national athlete total wellness program, supports and empowers high-performance athletes to pursue excellence during and beyond their sporting careers. Taking a proactive approach to total athlete wellness, the program is designed to help athletes navigate change and focus on performing when it matters most. To learn more, please see our introduction section.
Why was Game Plan developed?
Game Plan was initiated in response to the needs identified by athletes, coaches and sport system stakeholders in the 2010 Olympic Games Debrief Report and the 2011 Business Report. For more detailed information on how these findings led to the development or creation of Game Plan, please see our history section.
How is Game Plan different from programs offered in the past?
In addition to the proven benefits listed in our Benefits for Athletes section, the enhanced Game Plan program is powered by the following drivers:
- Performance-enhancement: Supports transitioning athletes to achieve life-sport balance without compromising their sport-related goals.
- Expertise: Provides expert-driven resources to help athletes make informed decisions.
- Empowerment: Empowers athletes to proactively participate in and effectively manage their own career, education and personal development needs.
- Partnerships: Maximizes community-based and corporate partnerships to enhance delivery and financial sustainability of the national program.
- Engagement: Proactively engages athletes, coaches and sport organizations to make it easy to access Game Plan.
- Innovation: Continually strives to develop new and innovative ways to support the evolving needs of Canadian athletes.
Why is Game Plan important for Canadian athletes?
Research suggests that engaging in non-sport activities, while actively training and competing, can actually help athletes achieve better results both in sport and in life. For a more detailed breakdown on the benefits of this balanced approach, view our Benefits for Athletes page.
Which athletes are eligible for Game Plan?
To access Game Plan, an athlete must meet the criteria laid out in our Athlete Eligibility section.
Which services are currently available to athletes?
Although Game Plan is still in its early stages of implementation, there are a number of existing services, resources and programs supporting career management, network development, access to education, skill development, and access to health resources available to eligible athletes across the COPSI Network. For a comprehensive list, please see our Resources section.
Where can athletes access Game Plan?
The COPSI Network delivers Game Plan in seven locations across Canada. Each hub leading Olympic and Paralympic training environments to elite athletes and coaches. To learn more about the services available in a particular region, visit the Our Team section and contact the dedicated program lead near you.